Rolling out tart dough and blind-baking tart shells

Deborah Jones
[More from Bouchon Bakery: The Butter Continuum and Pâte Brisée]

Rolling Out Tart Dough

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the ring(s) on the paper; or line a quarter sheet pan with parchment.

Unwrap the dough and place it between two large pieces of parchment or plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from side of the dough to the other, to begin to flatten the dough; turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat (one this will help prevent the dough from cracking as it is rolled). Roll out the dough, in the parchment, from the center outward, rotating and flipping the dough over frequently, to the dimensions needed for the desired ring(s) or pan. If the dough feels stuck on the parchment, lift off the parchment and reposition it. Should the edges crack, tap the edge of the dough with the rolling pin to bring it back together. If the dough softens, refrigerate for a few minutes before placing it into the ring(s) or pan.

Remove the top piece of parchment (if you have not already done so). If using a ring or rings, invert the dough over the ring(s) along with the bottom piece of parchment and carefully lower it into the ring(s), pressing it gently against the sides and into the bottom edges. If using the sheet pan, make sure there are no thicker areas of dough in the corners of the pan. Run your hands over the parchment to smooth the dough and force out any air bubbles, then remove the parchment. Fold the excess dough outward over the rim of the ring(s) or pan. Repair any cracks in the dough.

If you are making the Apricot Flan Tart, fold the excess dough over against the outside of the ring (this will prevent it from shrinking down the sides as it bakes). For all other tarts, run your rolling pin over the ring(s) or pan to remove the excess dough. Reserve some of the excess dough in case your shell needs a repair after baking.

Freeze the dough for about 30 minutes, or refrigerate for an hour. If you are not blind-baking the shell(s), continue with the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (standard). 

To Blind-Bake Tart Shells

Trim the dough evenly with the top of the ring(s), unless making the Apricot Flan Tart, or the sheet pan. Line the shell(s) with parchment paper or a large coffee filter, letting it extend over the top of the ring(s). Fill the shell(s) completely with raw rice (unlike dried beans or pie weights, rice won't leave an imprint in the dough), gently guiding it into the corners of the shell(s). 

Bake according to the instructions in the individual recipe. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. 

Excerpted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller & Sebastien Rouxel (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Deborah Jones.

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